Pharmacological Evaluation of Gut Modulatory and Bronchodilator Activities of Achyranthes aspera Linn

Document Type



Biological and Biomedical Sciences


Achyranthes aspera L. is traditionally used to relieve constipation, diarrhea, and asthma. Its crude extract (Aa.Cr) was evaluated through in vivo and ex vivo experiments to rationalize these medicinal uses of A. aspera and to provide their scientific basis. Aa.Cr, at 3 and 10mg/kg, increased fecal output, similar to castor oil, whereas at 30, 100, 300, and 700mg/kg, it protected against castor oil-induced diarrhea in mice when administered orally. Aa.Cr caused spasmogenic effect on rabbit jejunum and guinea pig ileum preparations, which was partially inhibited by atropine while completely blocked by cyproheptadine preincubation. Aa.Cr also relaxed high K+ (80mM)-induced contraction in rabbit jejunum. Aa.Cr inhibited CCh (100mug/kg)-induced bronchospasm in rats, similar to aminophylline. Like dicyclomine, Aa.Cr relaxed high K+ and CCh (1muM)-induced contractions in guinea pig trachea and caused rightwards parallel shift of CCh concentration-response curves at the lower concentrations followed by non-parallel shift at the higher concentrations. On activity-directed fractionation, spasmogenic and spasmolytic activities of Aa.Cr were concentrated in aqueous and organic fraction, respectively. This study suggests the presence of dose-specific laxative and antidiarrheal effects in A. aspera, possibly mediated through cyproheptadine-sensitive receptors and dual cholinergic and calcium channel blockade, respectively. The latter combination is also a suggested mechanism underlying its bronchodilator effect.


Phytotherapy Research